SEDL to Study Impact of National Math Program

April 15, 2010
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences recently awarded SEDL a 4-year, $6.1 million grant to assess the effectiveness of McGraw-Hill Education's Everyday Mathematics, a curriculum for students in preK through sixth grade. In partnership with other nationally recognized researchers, SEDL will conduct a rigorous study of Everyday Mathematics to determine whether the curriculum impacts student math achievement over 3 school years. Researchers will also investigate whether the effects of the program vary significantly for particular students, schools, and districts across the United States.

Dr. Michael Vaden-Kiernan, director of Research and Evaluation for SEDL, will serve as the principal investigator for the project. Dr. Geoffrey Borman, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and deputy director of the university's Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program, will serve as co-principal investigator.

With growing concerns about student achievement in math, more districts are relying on core math programs to ensure that students master essential math skills in the early grades. It is therefore crucial that educators have evidence about the impact of these programs. "In the case of Everyday Mathematics, where data indicate it is used by more than 4 million children across the U.S., knowing the program's effectiveness at scale-when delivered under real-world conditions-is essential for the field," says Vaden-Kiernan.

The study is significant because the math skills that students develop at the elementary and middle school levels form the basis for math achievement in high school, college, and ultimately the workplace. Students who struggle with math in elementary and middle school will likely continue to do so as their academic careers continue. As students enter the workforce, poor math skills can have an impact on job options and income.

Everyday Mathematics is one of the most widely used core math programs in the United States. The results of a limited but growing body of research suggest the program has a positive impact on student achievement. The SEDL study will contribute to this body of research by providing a large-scale study conducted by an external evaluator and with a more rigorous research design. "The evidence from this study should offer the best of both worlds: strong causal evidence of the achievement effects of an important nationally disseminated educational program along with results that generalize to a wide array of school contexts across the United States," says Borman.

In 2009, SEDL was awarded a grant to conduct a rigorous study of McGraw-Hill's Imagine It! reading curriculum. With the award of the Everyday Mathematics evaluation, SEDL will be completing two of the nine scale-up studies being funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.

For more information about SEDL's Everyday Mathematics evaluation, visit

About SEDL

SEDL (formerly Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit

SEDL's research and evaluation department maintains a portfolio of rigorous research assessing the degree to which education policies, programs, and practices improve student learning. In addition to the Everyday Mathematics study, current research projects at SEDL include a national evaluation of McGraw-Hill's Imagine It! reading curriculum and an evaluation of the Passport Reading Journeys supplemental reading curriculum for striving adolescent readers in Louisiana. For more information about SEDL's research and evaluation work in mathematics and to follow the progress of this work over time, please visit the Web site at